In the future, I would like people to be just as sensitive about other people’s feelings as they expect them to be about their’s. In the death of Alan Rickman and David Bowie, many people have mourned these celebrity deaths in ways I just don’t feel. I don’t understand it. I guess I’m not the only one, and I want to talk about that.
I am not a feeling person. I think feelings and emotions play a huge role to society’s dysfunction and very bad decisions. But I get that most people are feeling based individuals (you get it from the angels; they are really feeling based).
My Myer’s Briggs personality type is INTP. I’m an intuitive thinker. Intuition vs Sensing (N vs S) is a difference between the spirit and the body. 73.3% of people focus more on their 5 senses (see, touch, hear, smell, taste) than they do their intuition. Thinking vs Feeling (T vs F) is more about basing decisions on logic vs emotions. 59.8% of people are feeling people. So you can see, I’m not in the majority.
As a writer, I’ve been forced to try to study human emotion like it’s a science. I study emotion without being emotionally involved with emotion. But between my personality and PTSD, I’m very insecure that I am emotionally numb.
Some days, I think I’m an emotional idiot, and other days, I realize I probably know more about emotions than most people.
Just like yesterday… I had spent the day reading through probably a hundred statuses and memes about the death of Alan Rickman. This is after spending a week reading about David Bowie. I don’t feel the way a lot of people feel about this, and every time I read something, I kept asking myself what was wrong with me.
Last night, I wrote on my Facebook the following status to sort through those feelings:
I’m sorry guys, but Snape (Rickman) dying, I really don’t have any feelings about it. I see all these posts, like hundreds of them, of people who are SO SAD and here I am, “Bruce Willis already killed Snape a long time ago.”
So then I’m thinking my feelings must be dysfunctional. I forced myself to look at the memorable pictures and videos, and still nothing. What’s wrong with me?
How can I cry on movies like Delta Force? when the German Flight Attendant was forced to call all the names of the Jews to the front of the plane and a guy with a tattoo from a concentration camp was called first, and his wife passionately asks people to fight back, and the guy whose daughter gives him her cabbage patch doll and in the end a priest volunteers to join them for persecution because he’s Jewish just like Jesus. That shit was based on a true story.
And number 2 of tears to my eyes was Rambo 2’s speech in the end speaking of Prisoners of Vietnam War, “I want, what they want, and every other guy who came over here and spilled his guts and gave everything he had, wants! For our country to love us as much as we love it! That’s what I want!”
That’s the shit that gives me feelings. People die all the time. Actors die. Rickman was a great actor, but most of you only care because he was in Harry Potter, and a stupid imaginary boy clumsily saving the world from a great evil makes you feel things more than shit like real life veterans dying for your freedoms and liberties, then I realize I’m not the one with dysfunctional feelings.
Look, my heart goes out to your sadness. But I am not saddened by death. I’m saddened by murder. I’m saddened by war. I’m saddened by torture. I’m saddened by the death of virtues.
I pray both Professor Snape and the Goblin King find their way to God’s Kingdom, may they rest in peace… That’s it. I’m moving on. I don’t feel guilty about it.
I know some of you think I was insensitive. Maybe you don’t. I was saying I’m more sensitive to veterans than celebrities, and I’M NOT GOING TO FEEL GUILTY ABOUT THAT! I was being sensitive to my own feelings. Is that so bad? To be sensitive to my feelings once in a while? If you have a problem with that, why would I be sensitive about yours? What reason would I have for such things other than Jesus Christ? He’s the only one to give a fuck about people who don’t give a fuck about Him.
This status was about my feelings. About my emotions. Something I’m trying to do more because it helps me sort through my feelings (therapeutic) and maybe connect with people with similar feelings (social aspect).
I think I might of hurt someone’s feelings very dear to me with it (maybe many more), and what I didn’t realize, my friends are seeing posts from people similar to mine, but much more about shaming people for grieving over celebs.
While I don’t understand why people feel what they feel, I don’t want them to stop feeling it.
I totally understand not understanding the celebrity death phenomenon, but I don’t understand why you’d want to silence these people. As someone who is emotionally numb, I can 100% attest that a life without feeling isn’t much a life at all.
And then there’s AWESOME articles like THIS. (That’s not sarcasm. This article is very awesome, well written, and I agree with it). It basically says this tweet in many words…
Thinking about how we mourn artists we’ve never met. We don’t cry because we knew them, we cry because they helped us know ourselves.
— Juliette (@ElusiveJ) January 11, 2016
Well that explains a lot.
Many of you are just as insecure about your emotions as I am mine.
I’m not saying you’re wrong to grieve Snape’s death or the Goblin King’s Death, and that’s who died. Not Alan Rickman. Not David Bowie. Most of you don’t know much about them as real life people. You know them by their fictional characters they played or their image (which is usually also fictional, though many of you are unaware of that). Fact: Fiction sells more than Biography in the book world.
That’s ok. According to statistics, that’s basic human nature. Fiction makes you feel more than real life. I don’t understand it personally because I’m not in that percentage, but I get that you guys do this. If you don’t get that other people do this, then you better get it now.
What I’m saying is that I don’t feel that way. I don’t get teary-eyed over celebrity deaths. I thought something was wrong with me for that (just as many of you might think something is wrong with you for feeling too much for these celebrity deaths or fiction characters in general for that matter). I think that’s what goes on a lot in social media.
Our insecurities are interfering with our ability to understand each other.
Our insecurities make us want to:
- Defend ourselves
- Attack each other
So what would it take to understand each other?
My post wasn’t meant to be about Celebrities vs Veterans. If you took it as that, please don’t. It was meant to be, “Why don’t I grieve? Oh wait, yeah I do. It’s just that I grieve over different people who affect me.” I think this is what’s going on with other posts similar to mine…
Why do we grieve so differently for different people? Because grief is a selfish thing.
THERE. I SAID IT. GRIEF IS A SELFISH THING!
You’re not grieving that someone died. You’re grieving YOUR LOSS. It’s about YOU. It’s about how they affected YOU. That’s why you grieve over certain people MORE than you grieve others. List out all the deaths that affected you the most, and I bet every single one of the reasons is because those people affected YOU the most.
I’ve been to enough funerals to make the distinction in my life. I do the same thing. My father and grandmother were grieved by me harder than the aunt and uncle I hadn’t seen in years. Does it make my father superior to his brother? No. They were both great men. They both faced a similar death. They both faced death. Yet I grieved over one harder than the other? Because grief is a SELFISH thing.
We don’t grieve the death. We grieve the loss.
But we can make it about Celebrities vs. Veterans because I’m starting to notice I do have feelings about that too, and it’s a perfect example to what I’m trying to convey.
Face it. Every time I post about honoring a veteran or a fallen soldier on any of my pages, it not only gets ignored, but it’s almost social media suicide. The ONLY people who like that are vets. Not posting about celebrity deaths is also social media suicide.
Celebrity deaths are more grieved over soldiers.
So we are all fucked up.
I don’t give a shit about Alan Rickman’s death beyond, “You were a fabulous actor who lived a very interesting life. Rest in peace. Always.” I don’t give a shit that he died so young, at the age of 69 survived by his wife. And most of you don’t give a shit about Matthew McClintock’s death enough to even know his name or that he died at the age of 30 fighting for your liberties last week, that he was MURDERED by the Taliban, and that he is survived by his wife, parents and infant son.
You can say a prayer or send some positive thoughts to Matthew now. Please.
No wait. I do give a shit about Alan Rickman’s death enough to like the posts that honor him. Enough to say a prayer. I do this for every celebrity whose death goes viral. It’s not because I cared so much about Alan, or these celebrities, but that I care about your feelings.
I’m willing to bet too, even in his death, Alan Rickman probably gives a damn about Matthew. He lost his father at a young age to cancer, so I’m sure his heart goes out to the infant. I’m willing to bet anyone who lost a child can understand what Matthew’s parents are going through. Too bad you didn’t know about Matthew because nobody shared him. I didn’t even share him yet because I know nobody gives a shit. Another soldier died. So what? He isn’t a celebrity enough for such things. He isn’t royalty. He’s just some guy, but Alan Rickman, now that is personal. We are talking about Professor Snape who spent his whole life in love with Harry Potter’s mother.
I know some of you are that person and can agree that the irrationality doesn’t make sense. Obviously it’s true because of the article I posted earlier. I mean, you really can’t expect people to totally understand grieving over a person they never met. Wait, we all grieve over people we never met don’t we? How it looks to me when I see everyone deeply saddened by the loss of a person they never met (celebrities) is probably how it looks to you when you see me deeply saddened by the loss of a person I never met (Military).
The problem is Empathy. We all struggle to empathize with situations we never experienced.
I struggle to empathize with people’s grief over the death of an artist because I don’t identify with it. Those artists didn’t help define me. I didn’t bond with anyone over Harry Potter. I did bond with my father through Die Hard, but I don’t make that connection with Alan Rickman. I made it with my father’s chair (that was tough to throw away). And while some movies and songs help me through bouts of depression or inspired me, I differentiate between the work and the artist. They are two totally separate worlds to me. I don’t see Professor Snape when I see Alan Rickman. I don’t see Patch Adams when I see Robin Williams. I don’t see the Thriller when I see Michael Jackson. I see human beings who endured a life of wealth and fame due to being blessed with talent and good luck. But the point is the reasons behind some people’s fascination with celebrities can’t go without being said with me because I don’t feel it. You would have to tell me that’s why it’s important to you for me to understand how it’s important to you, and even then, I’m missing the gravity of the situation.
Most of the people who don’t feel my grief for military are civilians. The uniform definitely never defined them as a person. They don’t bond with strangers on a brotherhood of deep honor. Of a pool of collective blood, sweat and tears. What we mean when we say we are an Army of One. They don’t understand the real sacrifices being made on their behalf, or how hard it is to make them. They don’t realize that in basic training we all hit a phase where we really wanted to give up, the point where we wanted to stop running and walk, but the deep reasons for our being there, the desire to serve our country with honor, is what inspired us to push through the pain and carry on. They wouldn’t understand that at all because they never experienced it for themselves.
So when it comes to Snape dying, or many of the celebrity deaths that have happened, that’s a loss to you. You fell in love with Snape when Harry Potter did. You hated him at first, but then you got to know the real him, and your heart stopped, dropped and rolled. I didn’t. I didn’t fall in love with Snape because he’s not real. I can appreciate Alan as an actor and artist, but he’s there with my aunts and uncles I hadn’t seen in years… But as a veteran, I fell in love with Matthew, a guy I never heard about when he was alive, but because I know he sacrificed his life, and I know his family is at loss, I am in love. I’m in love with his bravery. I’m in love with his love. That’s how I feel about every fallen soldier; I don’t even need to know their name to feel it.
Don’t feel bad for having feelings.
We can’t help what we feel. Having a feeling does NOT make one insensitive. My feelings about this does NOT make me insensitive. Your feelings about this does NOT make you insensitive. Just because someone’s feelings are the opposite of yours doesn’t make them insensitive, nor does it make you insensitive. It’s how you deal with other people’s feelings that makes us sensitive or insensitive. I can honor your feelings for Alan Rickman, so I’m asking you, when you see a post about our veterans, please honor the person’s feelings the way you expect me to honor yours about celebrities.
Please let people feel what they feel.
I’m still at a loss, very saddened, that a female Airman died recently by a suicide bomber. For the record, I was in the Air Force. She is my identity. That’s probably why I grieved for her more than I probably should have. I didn’t post my feelings, but I still have them. Yes her death affected me more than the men who died by her side because she was female. Fucked up? Probably. But it’s how I feel.
This was part of Finish the Sentence Friday
For posts about the future and letters people write to themselves, check out the link up at Finding Ninee.
Yeah, I took a different route with it because it’s what is on my mind today. I seriously can’t move on until I get these feelings out. I hate feeling like I hurt someone’s feelings when I don’t mean to. When I mean to, well, that’s a different story.